Do I Really Need A Power Of Attorney?

It certainly makes sense to have current powers of attorney in place. They enable your loved ones to act on your behalf immediately and easily if you have an accident or become incapacitated. They avoid the time and expense of having your family or loved ones to go to court and have a judicially-appointed guardian to act on your behalf.

What Is A Financial Power Of Attorney?

A durable financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows your designated "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" (person of your choosing) to manage your finances and make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. You can set limits that determine how much power your agent will have and the types of tasks they may be asked to perform. Examples of these tasks may include:

  • Accessing your bank accounts
  • Paying your bills
  • Paying your taxes
  • Paying your medical expenses
  • Operating your business
  • Managing your real estate properties
  • Hiring an attorney to represent you

When selecting your agent, consider whom you trust will act in your best interests.

What Is A Health Care Power Of Attorney?

A health care power of attorney is a legal document that gives the person you designate the authority to make decisions regarding your medical and end-of-life care in the event of you becoming incapacitated.

Nevada law allows you to be very specific concerning your desires for things such as the extent that physicians attempt to prolong your life, the administration of pain medicine, quality of life issues and essentially any directions you desire.

What Is The Downside Of Not Having A Current Health Care Power Of Attorney?

The downsides of not having the proper documents in place are actually quite severe. Under federal HIPAA laws, the fact that you are the spouse, parent or child of the patient does not entitle you to: (1) have access to your loved one's medical records, or (2) have input into making medical decisions. Doctors aren't required to discuss nor consult with you about your spouse's, parent's, or partner's conditions, prognosis or treatment.

Even if the health care professionals treating your loved one would like to follow your wishes, the problem is that they could be subject to liability for doing so. Say for example, they follow the directions of a spouse, concerning your health care or even withdrawing life support, then the next day your child comes in and gives conflicting instructions and threatens to sue if these are not followed. You can see how the health care professionals would be placed in an untenable situation.

By simply having current POAs in place you relieve your family and loved ones of unnecessary stress in what are likely very stressful circumstances and you free your health care professionals to do their job well without having to look over their shoulders.

A Customized Plan For Your Future

Future planning requires great consideration and detailed documentation. If you are looking to create an estate plan, your durable powers of attorney are an important component of your planning. Obtaining legal assistance is essential for addressing all of your estate planning concerns and ensuring that your wishes are recorded appropriately.

Robert L. Bolick is a highly rated estate planning lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helping individuals and families develop customized plans to fit their unique needs. He provides compassionate legal representation for clients in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.

Maintain Control Over Your Future

When you are planning your estate, be sure not to overlook having your powers of attorney in place. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation at Robert L. Bolick, Ltd. Call our office at 702-690-9090.